HOME Affairs Deputy Minister Obedingwa Mguni says police will not jump the gun and declare missing journalist and pro-democracy activist Itai Dzamara dead without his family’s approval.
Mguni was responding to a question by MDC-T Senator Morgen Komichi in the upper house’s question time last Thursday.
Dzamara, leader of the Occupy Africa Unity Square campaign he centred around demands for President Robert Mugabe’s resignation over failed leadership, was abducted near his Glen Norah home by suspected State agents March 2015.
There has been little to no leads on his disappearance with the family blaming the State.
Asked by Komichi on how investigations into the activist’s disappearance have progressed, Mguni said police were doing all they could to find Dzamara but with no success.
“The police and Dzamara’s family formed a committee that is still working on the case.
“So, we asked them to report, every month, how far they are and they are giving us reports and leads.
“However, there have been leads coming in and the police would go and investigate and find out that it is not fruitful,” Mguni said.
Komichi had also asked the deputy minister how much time was required to pass before one could be declared dead if they went missing without trace.
Mguni however said police will not declare Dzamara dead without the family’s consent.
“To declare that a person is dead, it is about the police submitting a report with the family, agreeing with the family, that now we have exhausted all means to investigate and what should we do; should we declare the person dead?
“We cannot, as police, just close a case and say the person is dead, because the person comes from a family. It needs to be agreed with the family to do the correct declaration,” Mguni said.
Since Dzamara’s disappearance two years ago, President Mugabe has not commented on the matter although his spokesperson George Charamba has scorned claims the Zimbabwean leader has a hand in the activist’s abduction.